Nonsuicidal self-injury is hurting yourself on purpose, without trying to kill yourself. For example, if you cut your skin to hurt but not to kill yourself, that is called a nonsuicidal self-injury—it's not attempted suicide. The most common examples of nonsuicidal self-injury are:
Usually starts in the early teens and stops by early adulthood
Is equally common in boys and girls
Is more common in people with borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, or addiction problems
Is often done on visible body parts, such as your forearms
Nonsuicidal self-injuries should be taken seriously. People who injure themselves on purpose are likely to do it again, and may be more likely to attempt or commit suicide.
Doctors will ask about your injuries and what happened. They’ll take your actions seriously and try to figure out if you might try to kill yourself.
Doctors treat nonsuicidal self-injury with psychotherapy. Two types of psychotherapy used to treat nonsuicidal self-injury are:
Medicines can help some people. If you have mental health disorders besides nonsuicidal self-injury, doctors will treat those.
It's important to have follow-up doctors’ appointments to make sure the self-injury has stopped.